I was standing in front of my cupboard that holds my 'not-work' summer tops wailing because I "had nothing to wear". This usually triggers a shopping spree where I buy multiple iterations of whatever it is I'm craving that I'm not seeing; this time, I was cash-poor and had to sit with the whole nothing-to-wear feeling. This time, the craving was for lightweight, loose-fitting, sleeveless summer tops. I have many a summer top, but most of them are fitted, and I was feeling bloated and hot and sweaty (oh, the joys of menopause in summer), and just wanted something that would not feel constricting or stifling.

Well, I finally settled on something to wear for the day, but I wasn't 100% happy with it. Pre-coronapocalypse, I had been feeling drawn towards lighter colors, and had added quite a bit of white and cream to my wardrobe. The dark, heavy, emotional toll of living through a pandemic as a high-risk demographic + essential work that necessitates dark colored garments I won't cry over seems to have exponentially multiplied that pull towards something lighter.

I spent some time browsing sales and feeling distinctly uninspired. I browsed The Real Real, Nordstrom, Joie, Splendid, Yoox, and countless other sites, hoping against hope to find just ONE summer top that said "buy me" and just couldn't make myself pull the trigger on any of it. Here I am, several days later, and Angie has posted about changes in the fashion, style, and shopping worlds and here I sit in a pale pink tee, pale tan jeans, and cowboy boots, having finally found ONE top to buy and the top in question is probably the most impractical thing I could have bought for summer in my world. See screenshots for proof. What on earth am I going to do with an extra long white top? Probably sit around on the couch and crochet or binge-watch some random show (after I finish binging GOT for the 2nd time). This is really a top that I would ideally wear with jeans, and jeans are the absolute most impractical thing I can think of to wear in the Texas heat. And IDC IDC IDC I did it anyway. I'm craving lightness, I'm craving breathability, I'm even craving a bit of transparency. Perhaps that craving for transparency is backlash to the current sociopolitical environment, perhaps it is backlash to the face coverings that hide something that always stayed exposed unless one was robbing a bank or something.

I recently bought a Joie top that I love love love so very much, and that was my last real fashion purchase. Everything I've bought in recent months has been to fill a need. I have been destroying work clothes at the usual astronomical rate, so my purchases have been things I won't cry over when the inevitable occurs. I expect there will continue to be a lot of churn in that department; it's the nature of the beast in my job. I'll continue to try and buy as much of my work clothes as I can at thrift stores to ease the guilt over the amount I have to buy. But the coronapocalypse, and all of the freaking self-quarantines I've already been through have forced me to really THINK about acquisitions. The coronapocalypse has slowed me down in many many ways (shopping and clothes, relationships, even in-person 12 step meeting attendance), and I needed all of it (except the meeting thing, I need MORE of that, thank heaven for zoom).

I've got a bedroom FULL of nice clothes, and more great shoes than I can possibly wear right now. My work situation plus the coronapocalypse leave me with very little down time, and a large portion of my off days is spent recovering from all the hours of labor in the heat. The pandemic has left us with no places to go and very little to do outside the home. My beautiful things aren't getting worn very often, and likely won't for some time.

I'm actually toying with the idea of starting a major closet clean-out. I know we have all talked about the need to wait until things have returned to something approaching normal, but for me this is probably the new normal for the foreseeable future. I don't see myself changing jobs; I'm too grateful for my current boss. He hired me within a couple of weeks of moving to this area, and when I had to resign from the big box grocer to avoid getting fired I was jobless for less than 3 hours in the middle of the worst unemployment crisis this nation has ever seen. I'm actually very content at work in spite of the heat. The work environment is far more relaxed, the boss is very fair and quite funny, and I can take Mollie to work with me whenever I want to do so. I'm pretty locked into my job, so my thoughts of a wardrobe edit have been based around that and not the pandemic. I've adapted to having nowhere to go and nothing to do; I just wear my good stuff even if I'm only going to the laundromat or staying home all day. Burn the $30 candle, right?

With work being the driving force behind this wardrobe edit, I've started stewing in my own juices about what I realistically wear and love. What do I want to wear? The answer seems to follow a formula: longer looser tops, slimmer bottoms. Year round, that's my go-to. Anything that doesn't fit that formula is in very real danger of being consigned. There are a few things that will probably get to stay that don't fit that formula, but not many. I just don't reach for them.

I know some of you really enjoy my goodbye posts, so I expect there will be lots of them coming up in the future. My space (and budget) are too limited for me to keep buying beautiful things on a whim. I will be keeping my 'avenging angel' style moniker in mind AND my preferred outfit formula for any and all future purchases (as Cuyana says, "fewer, better things"); I will also be keeping those things in mind as I begin the slow, soul-searching process of getting a pile ready for consignment.

The coronapocalypse has affected me on many levels. My style, my 12 step recovery, my mental health... It's put me in a situation very similar to when I got clean: desperation, focus on healing, focus on self-care, focus on those I love. At my age (50 years old), it is long past time I make these changes. I'm grateful I have this community to walk through the style parts of the changes that are brewing. I'm grateful you guys appreciate my 'goodbye' posts. I'm looking forward to seeing what makes the grade and what my style looks like in the future. I'm grateful for the way this site has helped me focus on my style; my wardrobe has become less schizophrenic since I started hanging out with y'all. I'm also grateful I found that consignment shop where I bought a freaking ton of premium label skinny jeans this spring, it leaves me in a very solid place for bottoms moving forward. Now, to dive into the top half of my style....

To be continued...


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